Washing Day

DESCRIPTION: "The sky with clouds was overcast, The rain began to fall, My wife she whipped the children And raised a pretty squall... Oh, the deil a bit o' comfort's here upon a washing day." The singer describes how his good wife turns evil on washing day
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1849 (Logan)
KEYWORDS: work wife husband punishment
FOUND IN: Britain(England,Scotland) US(NE)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Linscott, pp. 296-299, "Washing Day" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ord, p. 153, "The Washing-Day" (1 text)
Logan, pp. 381-382, "The Washing Day" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Roy Palmer, _The Folklore of Warwickshire_, Rowman and Littlefield, 1976, pp. 56-57, "(Washing Day)" (1 fragment plus a response, "Fuddling Day" or "Saint Monday")
Jon Raven, _The Urban and Industrial Songs of the Black Country and Birmingham_, Broadside, 1977, p. 236-237, "Washing Day" (1 text)

ST Lins296 (Partial)
Roud #3747
Fuddling Day (Jon Raven, _The Urban and Industrial Songs of the Black Country and Birmingham_, Broadside, 1977, p. 238, listed as an "answer" to this.)
NOTES [124 words]: The similarities between the handful of truly-traditional texts of this song (Ord and Linscott) is such that I have to suspect broadside influence -- and, indeed, most of the texts listed by Roud are broadside or songster versions. Palmer admits his version is from a broadside -- as is the "Fuddling Day" response. Eric Partridge's A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (combined fifth edition with dictionary and supplement, Macmillan, 1961) defines "fuddling" as drinking to excess or being stupefied with drink -- presumably related to being "befuddled," but with alcohol being apparently a necessary component.
Evidently, when the husband is washing (on Monday), the husband goes out and gets drunk -- so he pays either way. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.1
File: Lins296

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.